19th-21st June 2017
Le domaine Saint-Clair, Etretat
The main goal of the 3‐day workshop will be to conceptualize and design a major new cross‐disciplinary and cross‐national collaborative research effort that investigates the "uncertain worlds" of environmental health science, risk and regulation.
The list of uncertainties in environmental health is long and growing. On it are questions about "safe" exposure levels under chronic and acute scenarios; synergistic, multiple and threshold effects; vulnerable subpopulations; chemical metabolism, fate and transport; genetic and epigenetic repair mechanisms; legacy contaminants and cumulative risk; experimental models and extrapolation strategies; environmental monitoring and testing regimes; social and environmental justice; and more.
The workshop will develop plans for a study of the uncertainties and absences that perforate environmental health research and regulatory systems in specific national contexts and transnationally. We want to move the study of uncertainty and non‐knowledge onto new theoretical and empirical terrain by investigating how non‐knowledge shapes the institutionalization of scientific and regulatory expertise and practice in the domains of environment and health. We believe it is not enough to be able to show that ignorance in science and regulation is socially produced, as illustrated by studies showing industry's repeated use of scientific uncertainty to undermine public consensus on climate change or stall government action to regulate pollutants. We also need to better understand the impacts of uncertain and absent knowledge on the epistemic cultures of science and regulation itself. In what ways is uncertainty built‐in to scientific theory and practice? What are the distinctions that delineate regulators' need to know (and be able to show) and the need to not know? Is uncertainty diminished, compounded, or transformed when it travels between scientific and regulatory domains? By engaging such broad questions, we seek a new and comparative conceptual framework to guide social scientific research into the vast and complexly interrelated unknowns of contemporary society's socio‐technical‐regulatory systems.
Inscription: Marianne Buffard - firstname.lastname@example.org